capital city adventures!

Sep 21, 2012

It's no secret that I like to escape to new places once in awhile.  I love my home, I love my husband, and I fear the thought of being apart from my puppy, but I need travel in my life to keep me sane. Fortunately, I have a job that enables me to get away rather frequently while earning money to pay the bills at the same time.  I've said it a million times, but I'll say it again... my job is awesome.  
I was very much looking forward to my upcoming trip, but dreading it all the same. I'd be gone for 5 whole days, which would be the longest I'd been apart from my husband since the wedding, and the longest I'd been away from my puppy since the day I'd brought him home.  I was well aware of the fact that I'd miss them both, and that they'd test one another's patience over the span of my layover.  Despite this, I had to go to work. I packed my bags and headed to the airport early in the morning.  My first day was an easy one. I deadheaded as a passenger on another airline, to Ottawa. Beautiful, sunny Ottawa... the capital of Canada!  I'd been all over the world, but it was my first time here! 
As we arrived at the hotel, I was feeling a definite need for caffeine. It had been an early morning and I unfortunately can not sleep on planes.  I was in luck... there happened to be a Starbucks right there in the hotel! As soon as I'd dropped off my luggage in my room, I headed downstairs, grabbed a pumpkin spiced latte, and ventured out to explore the city. 
As my luck always seems to have it, it began raining just in time for my walk.  I shrugged it off and continued walking, and fortunately it cleared shortly after it began. I came across Parliament Hill, and stopped along with every other tourist to take photos. It was quite gorgeous, and it's always interesting to see places with so much history in this otherwise very-modern country.  

I had plans later on in the evening, so I continued walking in search of a grocery store. I found one, and loaded up on healthy food to eat throughout the week. I was determined to avoid having to go out for dinner every night. On my way back to the hotel, I got a message from my friend (and classmate) Kevin, informing me that he had just arrived back from his flight.  We were in Ottawa together, and we were going to go for dinner! We met up with the pilots from his crew and headed out to a restaurant that they'd raved about. Unfortunately, we arrived to find that the former pub has been transformed into a fancy Japanese restaurant. Since we had already walked quite a distance, we chose to eat there anyways. I sipped a caesar that was spiced with wasabi, and dined on lobster salad rolls and pumpkin soup. It was quite the odd combination, but everything was delicious. After dinner the pilots went out while Kevin and I headed back to the hotel. It was still quite early, so we decided to watch TV instead of attempt to sleep. We were both thrilled to find that the Wizard of Oz was on, and we sat watching and laughing at how horribly outdated it was. Around 9 pm, Kevin headed to bed while I ironed my uniform for the next day. It's always hard trying to go to bed when you are a couple of timezones ahead of home, but I managed.  
The next morning I woke up, went downstairs and met my crew. Our first officer happened to have worked for my former airline in Dubai, so we had plenty to chat about. I was happy to find that my fellow flight attendant for the week was awesome, and I was put at ease knowing that we'd get along just great.  We flew to Iqaluit, Nunavut, where it was gloomy and cold, and then back to Ottawa. I succumbed to the temptations of onboard meals, going against one of my own cardinal rules. I couldn't help it. We were serving lasagna, and the meals on my airline happen to be really, really good. I told myself that I'd walk it off that evening. Back in Ottawa I went out walking once again, enjoying the gorgeous weather.  I strolled through the Byward Market, and crossed the bridge over the river. Once on the other side, I was in Quebec! It's not often that I'm in a position to simply walk to another province, so I felt as though it had to be done.  I walked for a few minutes, taking in all of the street signs that had suddenly switched to French, and then turned around and returned to Ontario.  I arrived back in my hotel just in time to watch Big Brother on TV... because yes, I am addicted, and no, I couldn't miss a single episode.  My husband and I texted as we watched, and once it was over I called it a night.  
Day 3 was a repeat of the day prior, with the exception of an additional crew member for our full plane on the way to Iqaluit.  Before leaving the hotel, I grabbed a coffee. Our hotel has an awesome incentive in which if you opt out of having your room cleaned, you receive a $10 voucher to spend at Starbucks... every single day! There is no way that I'm capable of passing up free coffee! Well caffeinated, we headed for the airport. The flight up was busy, but easy. On the way back we had far less passengers, but many strange happenings. I could write a book on the weird things that people do or say in the sky. It was a bumpy ride back, and we were happy to land in Ottawa. I had one plan for the evening, and that was to walk to Byward Market to get Beavertails. It's a Canadian treat, and an Ottawa essential... fried, delicious pastries. They are famous for having served President Obama a few years back.  I was joined by another flight attendant, and while he got the original with icing sugar, I opted for a chocolate hazelnut version. It was pure, blissful, guilty pleasure. 

We strolled the streets and chatted about how great the city was, wishing that we could visit it more often.   After he returned to the hotel, I walked a bit longer. It was the last night that I'd be able to enjoy the city centre as the next evening we were staying in a hotel close to the airport. Once it was dark and strange people were beginning to wander the streets, I decided to head to bed.  
The next day was the last morning to take advantage of free Starbucks, so I loaded up with bottles of iced coffee and the necessary pumpkin spice latte.  Our flights were easy, with few passengers all day. Returning to Ottawa, we sat in our jumpseats waiting to land, and were briefly confused when we suddenly began climbing. It didn't take us long to realize that we'd just had a missed approach. Looking outside, it was easy to see why, as thick fog made it impossible to see.   The Captain informed us that we'd try one more time, and we crossed our fingers that we wouldn't have to divert.  That would certainly make for a long day! Fortunately, there was more visibility on the next runway, and we landed. We checked into our new hotel and I was shocked at how unneccessarily massive my room was. With nothing nearby, and miserable weather, I had a lazy, early night and a great sleep.
It was a good thing that I was well rested, because the next day would be a long one. Apparently they save the worst for last.  We flew to Iqaluit on an obnoxiously busy and all around weird flight. Passengers were grumpy and it seemed as though nobody knew how to be nice. It was a long 3 hours of running up and down the aisles.  
Instead of returning to Ottawa, we flew to Rankin Inlet. This flight was much easier... we only had 20 passengers and half of them were employees. 2 flights down, and 2 to go.  We continued on to Yellowknife, where we had to wait 2 hours for our next flight. That was perhaps the worst part of the entire trip. By the time we boarded our full plane, we'd been on duty for nearly 12 hours and at this time the evening before, I was in bed. We got through it, and eventually landed in Edmonton. 14 hours had gone by... the length of a Dubai-Toronto flight.  I was so happy to be home, and after saying goodbye to my crew I raced home to reunite with my husband and puppy... just in time to catch the Big Brother finale.  It had been a great trip, but there is really no place like home!  


Rosa (Portugal) said...

Just found your blog a couple of days ago nad sent yu an email about working in Emirates. I'm loving to read your blog, you are an ispiration for everyone who wants to be a Flight attendant! Wish you all the best!

Unknown said...

I want your job, Krysta! I want to be able to travel too, without worrying about how much I would have left. If I were to go on a trip, I’d go all out on it! I’d take a limo to the airport; book a first-class flight; have the flight attendants pamper me to death; and take another limo to check-in at the most expensive suite or penthouse of the most expensive hotel. Then I would have room service at my beck and call, as if they were my personal butler. Haha! I really need a long holiday...

James Perkins

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